If you make bacon, especially in large amounts, you might have grown tired of dumping all the grease that comes from frying it up. It’s not good to pour down the drain. And it’s a hassle and messy to throw it out…not to mention, a waste. Sure, you can use it to cook up other food items. But then you have to use it relatively quickly and keep it safe and edible before use.
Fortunately, there’s another option for extra bacon grease. One that is easy, practical, and affordable. Turn it into a great survival candle.
How often does the power go out, or the batteries in your flashlight go dead without replacements nearby? All too often in my world, for sure. That’s when candles are very beneficial to have around. But, buying jar candles from the store can be quite costly, especially when the cost of making a bacon grease candle is minimal.
Not only is the low cost very appealing, but they are incredibly easy to make.
The Supplies Needed
As I mentioned above, the cost is very low to make these candles, because you don’t need very many items. And, the items needed are inexpensive or available at no cost at all. Here is what you will need to make a bacon grease candle:
- A jar (and lid)
- String or candle wick
- A strainer (may or may not be necessary)
- Pencil or toothpick
And here is why you can make these at literally no cost:
Bacon grease – The reason this should be viewed as no cost, is because you can use the grease of bacon you will be cooking up anyway. The grease is just a result of making it, so no additional cost.
The jar – save old jam, baby food, or pickle jars rather than throw them out when you are done with the food item. Any size glass jar will work.
String – if you don’t have any string lying around the house, this might be the only out of pocket actual cost, and it’s not much. I bought some for $1. If you want actual candle wick, that will run a bit higher, but still inexpensive.
The strainer and funnel – most everyone has one around the house, and the strainer might not even be necessary.
Pencil or toothpick – it will depend on the size of the jar on whether you could use a toothpick or pencil, but most homes also have a few of these around the house. And, when the candle is made, the pencil can be used again for its original intended purpose.
So, you can see that it makes sense to make your own candles, especially you are using them for time of survival and necessity, rather than scent and decor.
The Candle Making Process
It’s important to have everything prepared before you start, because bacon grease can solidify rather quickly. However, by taking the following steps in the following order, you shouldn’t have any problems with it hardening too soon. Here is what to do:
#1. Cut the string long enough to reach the bottom of the jar, to about 1” inch or more above the jar’s rim, leaving enough room to tie around the pencil or toothpick.#2. Tie the string around the pencil or toothpic.#3. Place the pencil or toothpick across the top of the jar, so that the string reaches the bottom of the jar.#4. Cook the bacon as you would for consumption.#5. Strain the bacon grease, if necessary. I did not need to strain it, because there weren’t any noticeable or large residual pieces left behind when removing the cooked bacon from the grease.
#6. Put the funnel on the jar and slowly and carefully pour the grease into the jar, around the string.#7. Place the jar of hot grease in a cool and safe area to cool down to room temperature.#8. Once the jar cools, place in the refrigerator to harden the bacon grease.#9. Once it’s firm, cut the string low enough that it falls below the rim of the jar. This is important so that it does not fall outside of the jar after it’s lit.#10. It is now ready to use.
When it’s not in use, place the lid on the candle and store it in a cool place.
You can make the candles as large or as small as you desire, as long as you can find a jar with a lid. I made a small candle for demonstration for this article only. I normally would make them larger than this, but that requires cooking up more bacon than I am comfortable eating at one time!
However, to make larger bacon grease candles, the only difference would be time. Start the candle with the grease from the first batch of bacon you make as instructed above. And store the jar in a cool place. Next time you make bacon, add the grease to the jar, and repeat each time you make a batch, until the jar is full.
As mentioned earlier, when the candle is not in use, make sure to keep it covered, for two reasons. If it gets too warm, it could soften up too much and you could end up with a mess. But also, you don’t want to attract critters and insects from the aroma of bacon grease.
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